Manuel Franco Sevilla has received the 2022 Junior Faculty Award from the Board of Visitors of the College of Computer, Mathematics and Natural Sciences in recognition of his “exceptional accomplishments that have raised the profile and prestige of the college”.
Franco Sevilla is a particle physicist doing research at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider’s beauty (LHCb) experiment, which employs “beauty” (or “b”) hadrons produced in high-energy collisions of protons to study the fundamental laws of our Universe.
His research focuses on measurements that test lepton universality, a fundamental assumption within the Standard Model of particle physics that states that the interactions of all charged leptons (electrons, muons, and taus) differ only because of their different masses. His thesis in 2012 saw the first hints of possible lepton universality violation, and since then, several measurements in experiments across the world have found similar hints. He has covered this topic in multiple international forums and in reviews for Nature and Review of Modern Physics.
Additionally, Franco Sevilla works on the Upstream Tracker (UT), a new silicon tracker that is a crucial part of LHCb’s ongoing upgrade to achieve data taking rates five times larger than previously possible. Together with Professor Hassan Jawahery, he co-led the development and production of the readout electronics for the UT, a total of over 600 main boards and 3,000 ancillary ones. This immense effort included contributions from an electronics engineer, three postdocs, four graduate students and the recruitment and training of a group of 12 undergraduate students who were instrumental during the testing and assembly phases of the project.
Last year Franco Sevilla was named deputy project leader of the UT and spent the second half of 2022 at CERN coordinating the assembly and installation of this subdetector into the LHCb experiment, an effort that involved a team of over 25 engineers, technicians, postdocs, and students as well as other CERN resources such as survey, transportation, or radiation protection teams. Some pictures of theses activities are shown below.
Shining a light on LHCb's Upstream Tracker silicon sensors to measure whether their dark current increases—a sign that the sensors are properly connected to the high voltage circuit.
Transporting the last stave of the Upstream Tracker (UT).
The last stave being installed into the UT.
The team that installed the last UT stave on December 10, 2022.
The cutout on the inner staves as it is being laser surveyed to make sure it will not impact the beam pipe that carries LHC's protons.
Half of the UT being transported to the LHCb cavern.
Half of the UT being lowered 100 meters underground into the LHCb cavern.
Half of the UT at the bottom of the LHCb shaft.
The LHCb experimental cavern.
Half of the UT being lifted above the LHCb experiment to install it on the other side of the beam pipe.
One half of the UT being pushed into position.
The staves of half of the UT in position around the beam pipe that carries LHC's protons.
The team that cabled up the UT during CERN's Christmas closure.
After the UT installation, a break on the 25th of December at the Alps. Mont Blanc can be seen on the background.